Each year the Pennington SWCD presents the Rural Beautification Award to a rural landowner who has incorporated landscaping and conservation practices on their property. The winner is honored with an article about their home in the local paper, in the SWCD newsletter, and during the Pennington SWCD Annual Banquet in April.
2020 Rural Beautification Winners
Randy & Jennifer Knott
from Sanders Township
Randy and Jennifer purchased 320 acres of untouched wooded marshland back in 1994, and named this treasured area “Knott’s Wildwood.” Like talented artists, they bore a vision in their minds of what the natural resources on this tract of land could be transformed into. They have been sculpting and airbrushing the property with pops of color and unique structures ever since. Some of the structures include their garage and home (which Randy designed), a rounded silo top chicken coop, a greenhouse, a little red tool shed, and a one room family hunting cabin. The cabin, an old grainery completely remodeled on the inside, is nestled far out into the woods next to a clearing. It is used extensively by family and friends not only during hunting season but throughout the entire year. Out in the yard you can find trails they have groomed, a large garden, grapevine terraces, beautiful flower beds, two Adirondack chairs engraved with their daughter’s names, and many memories of items that family and friends had given to the couple over the years. A few notable memories include the small tree that came from Jennifer’s dad’s place that now stands 25-30 feet high and greets you as you drive in, grandma Lilly’s lilies that border the yard, and communion grapes that reach to the heavens above. A person is awestruck as you look down over the backyard and woods from the back of the house seeing a firepit, tree swing, and log fence. The story wouldn’t be complete without telling you about the bear, deer, birds, and other wildlife that also call this place home. So much work has gone into this beautiful rural property, but they are not done yet; so much more is yet to come. Randy and Jennifer are truly building a legacy for their family. As Jennifer puts it, they are building “Something from Nothing.”